Parking poses problems

The initial brief asked for the designs to include undercroft parking for about 400 vehicles with consideration for additional parking next to the facility.

Cr Liam Gobbert said while ARM Architecture had a ‘fantastic design’, he thought undercroft parking had been overlooked.

‘I don’t believe that was explored in the concept presented to us,’ he said at the Joondalup council meeting last Tuesday.

‘What I’m particularly interested in would be ground level activation in the CBD. I don’t think this is best achieved with the car parking.’

He moved an amendment for the City to investigate alternative car parking, with which Cr Philippa Taylor agreed.

‘The proposed theatre will be an iconic building in the middle of the City of Joondalup and we do want it to look attractive and inviting,’ she said. ‘Building a multi-storey carpark next to the theatre will detract from the visual image of the building.

‘Just imagine if the Sydney Opera House had a great big multi-storey carpark next to it.’

However, Cr Kerry Hollywood disagreed that the parking had been overlooked.

She said while the brief specifically talked about undercroft parking, they were ‘endeavouring to ensure at-grade parking was contained within the building and not compromise the aesthetic appearance on the streetscape’.

‘The parking proposal by ARM Architecture was a creative and effective way of dealing with the parking problems,’ she said.

She said the other three proposals had included undercroft parking but the most car bays they could achieve were 200, 283 and 310.

‘There is no doubt underground parking does not work on this site,’ she said.

‘Also, we have a high water table in that vicinity. The lake is right next door and it would cost a fortune to build underground parking with water problems.’

Cr Tom McLean agreed, adding Joondalup was ‘notoriously full of limestone so the cost of going down further would add to the expense of the building enormously’.

Cr John Chester said the architect was ‘quite categorical that it wouldn’t have an impact on activation’ when asked about the car parking at a previous meeting.

Cr Russ Fishwick said while underground was ‘a good place to put car parks’, he thought maintenance and capital works costs would be ‘substantial’.

‘We’ve got other projects that we want to do so if we save $20 million, $25 million, $30 million here on a design that would look good, then I think we have an obligation to look at some of the other projects,’ he said.

Cr Gobbert reminded councillors the amendment was only to investigate what undercroft parking could achieve, not commit to it. The amendment was defeated eight votes to five.